Ballets Russes Arts Initiative (BRAI) is a non-profit organization that fosters international creative exchange in the visual and performing arts and film, with a special focus on the post-Soviet states.
BRAI’s current project is called “Migration + Memory,” and is both an exhibition featuring 100 artworks that explore the creative responses as well as historical trajectories of Jewish artists born, trained or active in the Russian as well as Soviet empires in the 20th century, and a programming series exploring Russian-Jewish contributions to the art in the region and in emigration. The exhibition, curated by BRAI’s executive director, Anna Winestein, takes place at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Mass., from Oct. 12, 2017, until Jan. 28, 2018. The programming series, which includes concerts, screenings, panel discussions and lectures, runs in the Boston area as well as in Clinton from Sept. 16 until Spring 2018.
The “Migration + Memory” concert series in particular will include concerts exploring Russian-Jewish folk music, classical music by Jewish composers of the Russian empires, as well as Jewish composers of the Soviet era, Russian-Jewish musicians of the 20th century and more. The screening series will feature documentary and feature films by and about Jewish creative figures with a connection to the region. A special standalone event will explore young (under 45 years old) Jewish-Russian-American creatives and their experiences.
Inspired by the example of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, BRAI conceives and organizes collaborative, creative and educational programming by building institutional partnerships with museums, performing companies, universities and individual art-makers. Based in the metro-Boston area, it carries out local programming and outreach events throughout Massachusetts, as well as in the Washington, D.C., area and internationally.